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Gloria Swanson:

An Inventory of Her Papers at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Swanson, Gloria, 1899-1983
Title: Gloria Swanson Papers[18--]-1988 (bulk 1920-1983)
Dates: [18--]-1988
Extent: 620 boxes, artwork, audio discs, bound volumes, film, galleys, microfilm, posters, and realia (292.5 linear feet)
Abstract: The papers of this well-known American actress encompass her long film and theater career, her extensive business interests, and her interest in health and nutrition, as well as personal and family matters.
Call Number: Film Collection FI-041
Language English.
Access Access Open for research. Please note that an appointment is required to view items in Series VII. Formats, Subseries I. Realia.



Acquisition Acquisition Purchase (1982) and gift (1983-1988)
Processed by Processed by Joan Sibley, with assistance from Kerry Bohannon, David Sparks, Steve Mielke, Jimmy Rittenberry, Eve Grauer, 1990-1993
Repository: :

Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin


Actress Gloria Swanson was born Gloria May Josephine Swanson on March 27, 1899, in Chicago, the only child of Joseph Theodore and Adelaide Klanowsky Swanson. Her father's position as a civilian supply officer with the army took the family to Key West, FL and San Juan, Puerto Rico, but the majority of Swanson's childhood was spent in Chicago.
It was in Chicago at Essanay Studios in 1914 that she began her lifelong association with the motion picture industry. She moved to California where she worked for Sennett/Keystone Studios before rising to stardom at Paramount in such Cecil B. DeMille features as Male and Female (1919) and The Affairs of Anatol (1921). At the height of her career in 1925 (already a veteran of some fifty films), she ended her long association with Paramount in order to become a partner with United Artists, independently producing her own films. Though producing artistically successful films such as Sadie Thompson (1928) and her first talkie, The Trespasser (1929), both of which earned her Academy Award nominations, the financial strains of her production companies all but ended her career. After her final United Artists feature release in 1933, she made only one other film (for Fox Films) during the 1930s.
In 1938, Swanson relocated to New York City, where she began an inventions and patents company which occupied her during the years of World War II. She made another film for RKO Radio Pictures in 1941, began appearing in theatre productions, and also had her own television show in 1948, but it was not until 1950 when Sunset Boulevard was released (earning her another Academy award nomination), that she achieved mass recognition again. The boost provided by this film resulted in a number of successes, such as appearances on Broadway in Twentieth Century, and commercial ventures, such as her line of clothing for Puritan Fashions.
Swanson made only three films after Sunset Boulevard, but starred in numerous stage and television productions during her remaining years. She was active in various business ventures, travelled extensively, wrote articles, columns, and an autobiography, painted and sculpted, and became a passionate advocate of various health and nutrition topics.
Married six times (to Wallace Beery, Herbert K. Somborn, Marquis Henri de la Falaise, Michael Farmer, William M. Davey, and William Dufty), Swanson had two daughters (Gloria Somborn and Michelle Farmer), an adoptive son (Joseph Patrick Swanson), and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren by the time of her death in New York, on April 4, 1983.
For further information on the life of Gloria Swanson, see:
Swanson, Gloria. Swanson on Swanson. New York: Random House, 1980.
Quirk, Lawrence J. The Films of Gloria Swanson. Secaucus, NJ: Citadel Press, 1984.
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XmlTextSwanson releases for Paramount were as follows: (rel. Apr.); (rel. Sep.); (rel. Nov.); while on location in France for Swanson met Marquis Henri de la Falaise, whom she married January 28 (after the Somborn divorce became final) in Passy; they returned to the United States in Apr.; Swanson signed with United Artists on Jul. 15
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XmlText her first United Artists feature, was released in Mar.; purchased rights to "Miss Thompson" and "Rain" in May; began shooting on Jun. 29, finished Sep. 24; previewed in San Bernardino in Nov.; met Joseph Kennedy in Nov. when he was recommended to her as a financial advisor; began negotiations with Erich von Stroheim in Nov. or Dec. for her next feature
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struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextQueen Kelly
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextIndiscreet
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextTonight or Never
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
43
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
44
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1932
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextSecond daughter, Michelle Bridgit Farmer, born Apr. 5
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
45
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
46
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1933
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextFinal United Artists film released in Feb.
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextA Perfect Understanding
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
47
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
48
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1934
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextHerbert K. Somborn died Jan. 2; Swanson's first and only film for Fox, released Dec.
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextMusic in the Air,
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
49
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
50
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1937
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextSigned contract with Columbia Pictures in Apr.
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
51
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
52
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1938
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextMoved to New York City where Multiprises, Inc., a patents and invention firm, was organized on Jul. 6
XmlComment
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struct [empty]
XmlChildren
53
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
54
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1939
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextDaughter Gloria married Robert W. Anderson Jun. 30; sold California home at 904 North Crescent Drive, Beverly Hills
XmlComment
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struct [empty]
XmlChildren
55
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
56
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1941
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextFilmed for RKO-Radio Pictures, released in Sep.; moved to 920 Fifth Avenue, New York City
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextFather Takes a Wife
XmlComment
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struct
render italic
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57
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
58
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1942
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextFirst theatrical appearances in and
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextReflected Glory
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
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xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextThree Curtains
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
59
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
60
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1943
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextAppeared in play
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextLet Us Be Gay
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
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61
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
62
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1944
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextAppeared in play
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextA Goose for the Gander
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
63
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
64
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1945
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextMarried William Davey on Jan. 29
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
65
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
66
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1947
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextEntered into an arrangement with the Haley Corporation as a travel representative
XmlComment
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struct [empty]
XmlChildren
67
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
68
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1948
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextTheatrical appearance in hosted series on WPIX-TV, New York
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextThere Goes the Bride;
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextThe Gloria Swanson Hour
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
69
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
70
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1949
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextSon Joseph married Aug. 7; promoted for Paramount on tour; filmed
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextThe Heiress
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextSunset Boulevard
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
71
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
72
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1950
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText released in Aug., Swanson went on promotional tour to support; received Neiman-Marcus Award; attended Royal Command Performance of in Nov.; hosted her own radio show, entered into an agreement with Puritan Fashion Corp. for a line of Gloria Swanson dresses
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextSunset Boulevard
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextSunset Boulevard
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextThe Gloria Swanson Show;
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
73
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
74
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1951
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextNominated for an Academy Award for in Feb.; theatre appearances in and daughter Michelle married Robert Amon Dec. 16
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextSunset Boulevard
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextTwentieth Century
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextNina;
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
75
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
76
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1952
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextMade for Warner Bros., released in Jun.
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextThree for Bedroom C
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
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77
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
78
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1953
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextHosted television series became a director of the Independent Cancer Research Foundation
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextCrown Theatre;
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
79
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
80
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1954
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextPublished newsletter,
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextGloria Swanson's Diary
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
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81
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
82
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1955
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextBegan work on a musical version of to be called trip to Europe on Puritan Fashions business; wrote a series of articles for United Press while traveling; began filming in Nov. for Titanus-Lux Films; named chairman of the Committee for Independent Cancer Research
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextSunset Boulevard,
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextBoulevard;
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextNero's Mistress
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
83
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
84
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1956
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText released in Europe; covered the Grace Kelly/Prince Rainier III of Monaco wedding for United Press
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextNero's Mistress
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
85
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
86
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1957
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextAgain traveled in Europe on Puritan Fashions business; appeared on performed songs from on
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextThis is Your Life;
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextBoulevard
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextThe Steve Allen Show
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
87
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
88
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1958
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextRecognized by Congressman James J. Delaney for her advocacy of food additive legislation
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
89
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
90
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1959
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextAppeared in play incorporated Gloria Swanson Enterprises, Inc.; became a director of the Patients' Aid Society, Inc.
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextRed Letter Day;
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
91
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
92
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1960
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText re-released
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextSunset Boulevard
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
93
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
94
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1961
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextAppeared in play endorsed a line of Gloria Swanson Nylons for Sheffield Hosiery Mills
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextBetween Seasons;
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
95
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
96
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1962
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextNero's Mistress released in the United States; appeared in play The Inkwell
XmlComment
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struct [empty]
XmlChildren
97
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
98
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1963
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextAppeared on television show and in play
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextDr. Kildare
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextJust for Tonight
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
99
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
100
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1964
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextAppeared on
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextKraft Suspense Theater
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
101
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
102
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1965
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextEntered into new business venture, Gloria Swanson Essence of Nature Cosmetics; negotiations began on proposed projects and
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextThe Duchess and the Smugs
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextHere Kitty, Kitty
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
103
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
104
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1966
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextGeorge Eastman House held career retrospective, appeared on and in play Mother Adelaide died Oct. 24; work began on proposed project
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextA Tribute to Gloria Swanson;
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextThe Beverly Hillbillies
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextThe Women;
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextBlackpoint
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
105
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
106
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1967
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextAppearance for the New York Theater Organ Society, appeared in play
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextFrom Silents to Sound;
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextReprise
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
107
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
108
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1968
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextTraveled to Russian and Sweden
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
109
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
110
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1969
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextPurchased residence in Colares, Portugal
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
111
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
112
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1970
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextNegotiations for appearance in fell through; starred on stage in began arrangements for Gloria Swanson Products Corp.; puchased residence in Palm Springs, CA
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextCoco
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNametitle
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextButterflies are Free;
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct
render italic
XmlChildren
113
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
114
xml element
XmlNamechronitem
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNamedate
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlText1972
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
xml element
XmlNameevent
XmlNsPrefix
XmlNsURI
XmlTextHenri de la Falaise died; appeared before the House Ways and Means Committee protesting tax rates for single persons
XmlComment
XmlAttributes
struct [empty]
XmlChildren
115
XmlName#text
XmlTypeTEXT
XmlValue
116
xml element
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    Chronology
1899 Born Mar. 27 at Chicago, IL to Adelaide Klanowsky and Joseph Theodore Swanson 1907 Swanson family moved to Key West, FL 1910 Swanson family moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico 1914/15 Family returned to Chicago; Gloria graduated from Lincoln School and began working for Essanay Company, where she made the following films: His New Job; The Fable of Elvira; Farina and the Meal Ticket (rel. Spr.); Sweedie Goes to College (rel. Spr.); The Romance of an American Duchess (rel. Fall); The Broken Pledge (rel. Fall) 1916 Moved to California after her father was transferred to Manila; began making films at Sennett/Keystone: A Dash of Courage (rel. Spr.); Hearts and Sparks (rel. Spr.); A Social Club (rel. Sum.); The Danger Girl (rel. Sum.); Love on Skates (rel. Sum.); Haystacks and Steeples (rel. Fall); The Nick-of-Time Baby (rel. Fall); Married Wallace Beery Mar. 27 at Pasadena City Hall 1917 Features at Sennett/Keystone included: Teddy at the Throttle (rel. Wint.); Baseball Madness (on loan to Universal-Victor, rel. Spr.); The Dangers of a Bride (rel. Sum.); The Sultan's Wife (rel. Sum.); A Pullman Bride (rel. Fall) 1918 After leaving Sennett/Keystone, began working for the Triangle Company, where her films included: Society for Sale (rel. Apr.); Her Decision (rel. May); You Can't Believe Everything (rel. Jul.); Every Woman's Husband (rel. Jul.); Shifting Sands (rel. Sep.); Station Content (rel. Sep.); Secret Code (rel. Oct.); Wife or Country (rel. Dec.). After divorcing Joseph Swanson, mother Adelaide married Matthew Burns; Swanson hired by Famous Players-Lasky in November 1919 Features for Paramount/Famous Players-Lasky included: Don't Change Your Husband (rel. Jan.); For Better, For Worse (rel. May); Male and Female (Nov.); Gloria received a divorce from Wallace Beery, and on Dec. 20, married Herbert K. Somborn 1920 Gloria's career at Paramount continued with these releases: Why Change Your Wife? (rel. May); Something to Think About (rel. Oct.); The Great Moment (rel. Dec.); Matthew Burns died in Aug.; first child, daughter Gloria Swanson Somborn was born Oct. 7; 1921 Upon return to work, Swanson's next Paramount vehicles were: The Affairs of Anatol (rel. Sep.); Under the Lash (rel. Oct.); Don't Tell Everything (rel. Dec.) 1922 Paramount films made included: Her Husband's Trademark (rel. Mar.); Beyond the Rocks (rel. May); Her Gilded Cage (rel. Sep.); The Impossible Mrs. Bellew (rel. Nov.); traveled to Europe during Apr. and May 1923 Paramount releases for the year included: My American Wife (rel. Feb.); Prodigal Daughters (rel. Apr.); Bluebeard's Eighth Wife (rel. Sep.); Zaza (rel. Oct.); sued for divorce by Somborn; adopted Sonny Smith (born Oct. 31, 1922), whom she named Joseph Patrick Swanson; father Joseph died Oct. 2 1924 Films released included: The Humming Bird (rel. Jan.); A Society Scandal (rel. Mar.); Manhandled (rel. Aug.); Her Love Story (rel. Oct.); Wages of Virtue (rel. Nov.) 1925 Swanson releases for Paramount were as follows: Madame Sans-Gêne (rel. Apr.); The Coast of Folly (rel. Sep.); Stage Struck (rel. Nov.); while on location in France for Madame Sans-Gêne, Swanson met Marquis Henri de la Falaise, whom she married January 28 (after the Somborn divorce became final) in Passy; they returned to the United States in Apr.; Swanson signed with United Artists on Jul. 15 1926 Swanson's contract obligations to Paramount were completed with the release of: Untamed Lady (rel. Mar.) and Fine Manners (rel. Aug.); began working at United Artists in Apr.; purchased rights to The Eyes of Youth in Jul., which began filming as The Love of Sunya in Sep. at Cosmopolitan Studios in New York and was completed in Dec. 1927 The Love of Sunya, her first United Artists feature, was released in Mar.; purchased rights to "Miss Thompson" and "Rain" in May; began shooting Sadie Thompson on Jun. 29, finished Sep. 24; previewed in San Bernardino in Nov.; met Joseph Kennedy in Nov. when he was recommended to her as a financial advisor; began negotiations with Erich von Stroheim in Nov. or Dec. for her next feature 1928 On the advice of Joseph Kennedy, restructured her finances and personnel, forming Gloria Productions, Inc. on Jan. 25; Sadie Thompson premiered in Jan. in San Francisco; received von Stroheim's scenario for The Swamp in Mar.; shooting on Queen Kelly began in Nov.; received Academy Award nomination for Sadie Thompson 1929 von Stroheim fired Jan. 21; Queen Kelly production continued with Paul Stein during Mar. and Apr.; co-wrote (Apr. to May) and filmed (Jun. 4-29) The Trespasser, her first "talkie;" released in Oct.; production recommenced on Queen Kelly during Nov. and Dec. with Richard Boleslavsky; received Academy Award nomination for The Trespasser 1930 What a Widow! began filming in Mar. or May; released in Sep.; Rock-a-Bye purchased in Jul.; work continued on Queen Kelly in Nov. with a new script by Harry Poppe 1931 More work on Queen Kelly during Jan., Mar., Nov. and Dec.; Indiscreet released in May; Tonight or Never released in Dec.; married Michael Farmer on Aug. 16 at Elmsford, NY 1932 Second daughter, Michelle Bridgit Farmer, born Apr. 5 1933 Final United Artists film A Perfect Understanding released in Feb. 1934 Herbert K. Somborn died Jan. 2; Swanson's first and only film for Fox, Music in the Air, released Dec. 1937 Signed contract with Columbia Pictures in Apr. 1938 Moved to New York City where Multiprises, Inc., a patents and invention firm, was organized on Jul. 6 1939 Daughter Gloria married Robert W. Anderson Jun. 30; sold California home at 904 North Crescent Drive, Beverly Hills 1941 Filmed Father Takes a Wife for RKO-Radio Pictures, released in Sep.; moved to 920 Fifth Avenue, New York City 1942 First theatrical appearances in Reflected Glory and Three Curtains 1943 Appeared in play Let Us Be Gay 1944 Appeared in play A Goose for the Gander 1945 Married William Davey on Jan. 29 1947 Entered into an arrangement with the Haley Corporation as a travel representative 1948 Theatrical appearance in There Goes the Bride; hosted series The Gloria Swanson Hour on WPIX-TV, New York 1949 Son Joseph married Aug. 7; promoted The Heiress for Paramount on tour; filmed Sunset Boulevard 1950 Sunset Boulevard released in Aug., Swanson went on promotional tour to support; received Neiman-Marcus Award; attended Royal Command Performance of Sunset Boulevard in Nov.; hosted her own radio show, The Gloria Swanson Show; entered into an agreement with Puritan Fashion Corp. for a line of Gloria Swanson dresses 1951 Nominated for an Academy Award for Sunset Boulevard in Feb.; theatre appearances in Twentieth Century and Nina; daughter Michelle married Robert Amon Dec. 16 1952 Made Three for Bedroom C for Warner Bros., released in Jun. 1953 Hosted television series Crown Theatre; became a director of the Independent Cancer Research Foundation 1954 Published newsletter, Gloria Swanson's Diary 1955 Began work on a musical version of Sunset Boulevard, to be called Boulevard; trip to Europe on Puritan Fashions business; wrote a series of articles for United Press while traveling; began filming Nero's Mistress in Nov. for Titanus-Lux Films; named chairman of the Committee for Independent Cancer Research 1956 Nero's Mistress released in Europe; covered the Grace Kelly/Prince Rainier III of Monaco wedding for United Press 1957 Again traveled in Europe on Puritan Fashions business; appeared on This is Your Life; performed songs from Boulevard on The Steve Allen Show 1958 Recognized by Congressman James J. Delaney for her advocacy of food additive legislation 1959 Appeared in play Red Letter Day; incorporated Gloria Swanson Enterprises, Inc.; became a director of the Patients' Aid Society, Inc. 1960 Sunset Boulevard re-released 1961 Appeared in play Between Seasons; endorsed a line of Gloria Swanson Nylons for Sheffield Hosiery Mills 1962 Nero's Mistress released in the United States; appeared in play The Inkwell 1963 Appeared on television show Dr. Kildare and in play Just for Tonight 1964 Appeared on Kraft Suspense Theater 1965 Entered into new business venture, Gloria Swanson Essence of Nature Cosmetics; negotiations began on proposed projects The Duchess and the Smugs and Here Kitty, Kitty 1966 George Eastman House held career retrospective, A Tribute to Gloria Swanson; appeared on The Beverly Hillbillies and in play The Women; Mother Adelaide died Oct. 24; work began on proposed project Blackpoint 1967 Appearance for the New York Theater Organ Society, From Silents to Sound; appeared in play Reprise 1968 Traveled to Russian and Sweden 1969 Purchased residence in Colares, Portugal 1970 Negotiations for appearance in Coco fell through; starred on stage in Butterflies are Free; began arrangements for Gloria Swanson Products Corp.; puchased residence in Palm Springs, CA 1972 Henri de la Falaise died; appeared before the House Ways and Means Committee protesting tax rates for single persons 1973 Appeared on The Carol Burnett Show; filmed television movie The Killer Bees 1974 Film retrospective at the Cinèmathéque Française in Mar.; final feature film appearance, Airport 1975 for Universal, released in Oct. 1975 Son Joseph died Jul. 9; performed one-woman show Look Back in Laughter 1976 Married William Dufty on Feb. 2; publicity tour for Dufty's book Sugar Blues 1977 Swanson-Dufty Enterprises, Inc. formed 1978 Swanson's art exhibited in London gallery 1979 Traveled to Japan 1980 Autobiography Swanson on Swanson published; designed stamp cachet for the United Nations Postal Administration; chaired New York chapter of Seniors for Reagan-Bush 1982 Sold her archive to the HRC in Dec. 1983 Died Apr. 4, New York City; auctions of furniture and decorations, jewelry, fashion collection, career and personal memorabilia Aug.-Sep. at William Doyle Gallery, New York

The papers of actress Gloria Swanson (ca. [18--]-1988, bulk 1920-1983, 620 boxes) document her career accomplishments, her business ventures and her various interests, as well as her childhood, family, personal relationships, and private life. Included are correspondence, photographs, scripts, production records, financial and legal records, publicity materials, clippings, scrapbooks, published materials, film, audio recordings, music, writings, art work, and artifacts.
In the foreword to her autobiography, Swanson explained her eighty year accumulation of "files and scrapbooks and photographs and films and letters and documents" with the statement "I never throw anything away." Also a diligent custodian, she shepherded records from California to New York, installed state-of-the-art mechanical filing cabinets in her office in the 1950s, and even hired an archivist to order her papers after they were "ransacked" during the writing of Swanson on Swanson. This process was begun in 1980 by Raymond W. Daum.
The collection is now arranged in seven Series: I. Correspondence (1907-1983, 85 boxes), II. Career (ca. 1914-1983, 118 boxes), III. Business Interests (1921-1982, 76 boxes), IV. Other Interests (1923-1983, 51 boxes), V. Biographical/Personal Papers (ca. [18--]-1983, 110 boxes), VI. After Death (1983-1988, 1 box), and VII. Formats (1889-1983, 147 boxes). Though these groupings represent a comprehensive structure never realized during Swanson's lifetime, they continue, to some extent, the arrangement process begun in 1980. Internal files document various surveys of the papers, 1980-1982 (see folders 16.4-17.8).
As many files as possible have been placed in the context of their original creation, left in their original order, and grouped together in the appropriate series. Materials which had apparently been separated for research or otherwise segregated (such as "VIP" correspondence) have been reintegrated into the collection. Other parts of the collection, which were so chaotic as to be virtually unuseable (i.e., United Artists, Health and Nutrition subseries, clippings, photographs, etc.), have had order imposed upon them.
The collection contains extensive records (including numerous film stills) of Swanson's career in motion pictures, encompassing sixty-six films, ca. 1914-1975. Her film career spanned the early days of slapstick two-reelers, the peak of the silent era, and the transition to sound and other technological developments. Her role as one of the first women to independently produce her own films at United Artists, 1925-1933, is traced by the records of her production companies. These companies produced six of her films, including the controversial Sadie Thompson, and the legendary Erich von Stroheim fiasco Queen Kelly, as well as her first "talkie," The Trespasser. Swanson's watershed role of later years, that of Norma Desmond in Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard (1950), is also well documented.
Also represented is Swanson's involvement in other entertainment branches, which extended to radio (1927-1981, including The Gloria Swanson Show, 1951), television (1944-1981, including The Gloria Swanson Hour broadcast during the "stone age" of television in 1948), and theatre (1937-1977, including three Broadway productions, Twentieth Century, Nina, and Butterflies Are Free).
Numerous scripts, synopses, stories, and treatments, representing writers such as Zoë Akins, Jay Presson Allen, Lenore J. Coffee, James Ashmore Creelman, Lilyan Kemble Cooper, Laura Hope Crews, Delmer Daves, William Dufty, Laurence Eyre, Allan Jay Friedman, Leonard Gershe, Forrest Halsey, Ben Hecht, Harold J. Kennedy, Alan Jay Lerner, Josephine Lovett, Clare Boothe Luce, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Frances Marion, Richard Matheson, Preston Sturges, C. Gardner Sullivan, Erich von Stroheim, and Billy Wilder, are also present in the collection.
The film stills and other numerous photographs in this collection include the work of many photographers, among them Ernest A. Bachrach, Edward O. Bagley, Russell Ball, Cecil Beaton, Marcus Blechman, Clarence Sinclair Bull, Harold Carter, Irving Chidnoff, William Eglinton, Eliot Elisofon, G.L. Manuel Frères, Maurice Goldberg, Ellen Graham, Philippe Halsman, George Hoyningen-Huene, George Hurrell, G. Maillard Kesslere, Donald Biddle Keyes, Roddy McDowall, Jack Mitchell, Nickolas Muray, Alexander Phillips, Melbourne Spurr, Edward Steichen, Karl Struss, Stig Svedfelt, and others.
Swanson also kept extensive records of her efforts as a businesswoman, which included cosmetics, a fashion line, hosiery, an inventions and patents company, a travel agency, and writing assignments. Included are the records of Gloria Swanson Enterprises, Inc. (1959-1977) and Swanson-Dufty Enterprises, Inc. (1977-1981), as well as the papers of Multiprises, Inc. (1937-1951), which financed and exploited various inventions by a group of four World War II refugee inventors from Austria and Germany. Her fruitful and long lived association with Puritan Fashions Corp. (1951-1982) is captured in the archive, as are numerous writing projects, culminating in her popular autobiography, Swanson on Swanson (1980).
Additionally, the collection also contains evidence of Swanson's varied personal enthusiasms: art (original art and sculpture by Miss Swanson, including a design for a United Nations Postal Administration stamp issue commemorating the Decade for Women, 1980); fashion (in addition to costume designs and the records of her commercial clothing line, there are associations with designers such as Coco Chanel, Edith Head, René Hubert, Givenchy, Pauline Trigere, Adam Werlé, and Valentina); health and nutrition (an early enthusiast of organic foods, her papers document a tireless crusade against chemical additives, inorganic pesticides, and pollution, her efforts in the passage of the so-called Delaney Bill in 1958, and participation in the Independent Cancer Research Foundation, the Committee for Independent Cancer Research, and the Patients' Aid Society); music (she sang on film, television, and stage, and numbered George Gershwin, Rosa Ponselle, and Jascha Heifetz among her friends); psychic phenomena and religion (her proclivities as a spiritual seeker are indicated in materials concerning such organizations as ESP Research Associates Foundation, the United Church of Religious Science, and the University of Science and Philosophy); politics (her campaign activities for Wendell Willkie, Thomas E. Dewey, and Ronald Reagan are included); science and technology (including visits to Bell Helicopter and to NASA, from which she cherished an autographed picture and drawings by Werner von Braun); and travel (England, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Russia, and Sweden, represented chiefly through photographs).
Swanson's childhood, family life, and personal life are further documented through such personal papers as address books, appointment books, photographs, and various personal financial, legal, and property records.
There is a wide range of correspondence, located primarily in Series I., but also scattered through the other series due to the inevitable overlap of personal, career, business, and other relationships. Among Miss Swanson's correspondents are family, friends, business associates, acquaintances, and fans, spanning many notables from numerous fields of endeavor: Michelle Amon, Kenneth Anger, Robert Balzer, Vilma Banky, Beverly Bayne, Henry G. Bieler, Earl Blackwell, Virginia Bowker, Charles Brackett, Lewis L. Bredin, Harry A. Bruno, Carol Burnett, George Bush, Francis X. Bushman, Richard Evelyn Byrd, Walter Byron, James Cagney, Eddie Cantor, Carol Channing, Charlie Chaplin, Maurice Chevalier, Ronald Colman, Noel Coward, Fleur Cowles, Joan Crawford, George Cukor, Gloria Daly, Marion Davies, James J. Delaney, Cecil B. DeMille, Indra Devi, Thomas E. Dewey, Marlene Dietrich, William Dufty, Allan Dwan, Nelson Eddy, Mamie Doud Eisenhower, Harlan Ellison, Douglas Fairbanks, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Michael Farmer, José Ferrer, Allan Jay Friedman, George, Duke of Kent, George Gershwin, Margaret Ghika, Lillian Gish, Hubert de Givenchy, Elinor Glyn, Samuel Goldwyn, Ram Gopal, Edmund Goulding, D. W. Griffith, Gladys Griffith, Alec Guiness, Edmund Gwenn, Forrest Halsey, Oscar Hammerstein II, Helen Hayes, Will H. Hays, Edith Head, William Randolph Hearst, Ethel Helmsing, Katharine Hepburn, Conrad Hilton, Prince Franz Hohenlohe, Bob Hope, Hedda Hopper, Edward Everett Horton, L. Ron Hubbard, René Hubert, William Bradford Huie, George S. Kaufman, Buster Keaton, Edward Moore Kennedy, Harold J. Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, Joseph P. Kennedy, Rose Kennedy, Jean Kerr, Edward I. Koch, Henri de la Falaise, Beatrice LaPlante, Henri Langlois, Rod LaRocque, Jesse L. Lasky, Evelyn Laye, Vivien Leigh, Alan Jay Lerner, Mervyn LeRoy, Clare Boothe Luce, Joel McCrea, Roddy McDowell, Frances Norton Manning, Arlette Marchal, Stanley Marcus, Frances Marion, Gene Markey, Herbert Marshall, Somerset Maugham, Louis B. Mayer, James Michener, Condé Nast, Marshall Neilan, David Niven, Richard M. Nixon, Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier, Albert Parker, Louella Parsons, Mary Pickford, Zasu Pitts, Harold Prince, Ronald Reagan, Charles Revson, Carroll Righter, Ginger Rogers, Eleanor Roosevelt, Joseph M. Schenck, Else Schiaparelli, David O. Selznick, Ted Shawn, Eunice Shriver, Herbert K. Somborn, Adela Rogers St. Johns, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward Steichen, Preston Sturges, Ed Sullivan, Joseph Patrick Swanson, Joseph Theodore Swanson, Constance Talmadge, Norma Talmadge, Bess Truman, Valentina, Erich von Stroheim, Raoul Walsh, Barbara Walters, LeRoy P. Ward, Jack Warner, Clifton Webb, Orson Welles, Dan Werlé, Billy Wilder, Lois Wilson, Sam Wood, Adelaide Woodruff, Florenz Ziegfeld, Adolph Zukor, and others.
An extensive index of correspondents (which also includes photographic subjects, prominent photographers, and some topics) has been created in order to locate materials which are dispersed through the collection. The index is selective and should by no means be considered exhaustive. Persons and subjects were selected for their own intrinsic importance, as well as their quantity and importance within the collection. Individual actors in the stills are not indexed. However, a Film Credits List is included in this inventory which lists the individual cast members for each of Swanson's films.
Though this collection is substantially complete, it is probably weakest in the area of personal materials for the 1920s through the mid-1940s. The permanent move to New York in the late 1930s, the arrival of long-time staffers such as Gladys Griffith in the 1940s, and the longevity of these arrangements seem to have contributed to a more stable and consistent climate in which the more comprehensive papers of the 1950s through the 1970s were created. Items not present in this archive include the bulk of Miss Swanson's film holdings, which were acquired by George Eastman House in 1967. For further information on those materials, see folders 201.1-201.8. For the disposition of certain other items after her death in 1983, see box 441.

Other collections at the Ransom Center which contain Swanson materials include:
Art Collection
  • Self sculpture of Gloria Swanson, painted plaster head.

  • Portrait of Gloria Swanson, oil on canvas, by P. J. Gina Tinnani.

  • Portrait of Gloria Swanson, oil on canvas, by Randy J. Ogren.

Book Collection
  • Books (ca. 500) from Gloria Swanson's library, which are cataloged in the University of Texas online catalog (UTCAT). The Collection File in the Reading Room card catalog also provides catalog cards for these items. Included in Miss Swanson's library were copies of her autobiography, Swanson on Swanson (including several foreign editions), inscribed copies of works by friends and acquaintances, and a number of rare volumes, including a first edition of James Joyce's Ulysses.

Film Collection
  • Twelve boxes of exhibit-related materials generated during the process of preparing the 1984 “A Visit from Gloria Swanson” exhibit. Also included are photographs of the exhibit while on display, as well as the reproductions, labels, captions, and videotapes used in the exhibit. Files of press clippings document reaction to the exhibit.

  • Eight boxes of multiple stills for the following films:
    • The Love of Sunya--380 items

    • Sadie Thompson--514 items

    • Queen Kelley--22 items

    • The Trespasser--110 items

    • What a Widow!--25 items

    • Tonight or Never--3 items

    • A Perfect Understanding--4 items

    • Father Takes a Wife--389 items

Manuscripts Collection
  • Merle Armitage (Recipient)

  • Harpers (Letters)

  • Mike Wallace (Miscellaneous)


Due to size, this inventory has been divided into six separate units which can be accessed by clicking on the highlighted text below:
Gloria Swanson Papers--Series descriptions and Series I. through Series II. Subseries A3. [Part I] [This page]
Gloria Swanson Papers--Series II. Subseries A4 through Subseries F. [Part II]
Gloria Swanson Papers--Series II. Subseries G. through Series III. [Part III]
Gloria Swanson Papers--Series IV. through Series V. Subseries H. [Part IV]
Gloria Swanson Papers--Series V. Subseries I. through Series VII. Subseries J. [Part V]
Gloria Swanson Papers--Indices [Part VI]